Elmira V. Vasileva
independent researcher
Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s The Beast in the Cave: an interpretation
Vasileva E.V. Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s The Beast in the Cave: an interpretation. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2021, vol. 27, № 1, pp. 117-121 (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2021-27-1-117-121
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2021-27-1-117-121
УДК: 821(73).09«20»
Publish date: 2021-02-21
Annotation: The article proposes a concept study of one of Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s earliest pieces The Beast in the Cave (1905). The author employs elements of biographical and mythological (Jungian) approaches to the text, synthetising them in order to achieve a complex understanding of Lovecraft’s work. In the study the author tries to reach three interconnected goals – to come up with an interpretation of the text previously ignored by the critics and thus to include The Beast in the Cave in the Lovecraftian canon, as well as to establish a link between the writer’s personal circumstances and their metaphorical embodiment in the text in question. The author of the article concentrates upon several crucial elements of the short story – the topos of the cave and the three principal characters (the protagonist, the beast, and the guide who comes to the narrator’s rescue in the end). Despite the fact that Lovecraft’s story had been composed almost thirty years prior to the first publication of some of Carl Gustav Jung’s principal ideas on archetypes of the collective unconscious, the young writer seems to be able to intuitively foresee the artistic potential of the cave monomyth (the hero goes down the abyss and fights the monster who lives there). Lovecraft masterfully relates the myth, simultaneously turning this general story into a very personal account of his own tragic experience and his way of coping with the crisis. Such an interpretation makes it possible to perceive The Beast as an early example of Lovecraft’s “mythologising” écriture.
Keywords: Howard Phillips Lovecraft, American Gothic tradition, Jungian analysis, biographical approach, topos of cave, shadow archetype
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Author's info: Elmira V. Vasileva, Candidate of Philological Sciences, independent researcher, St. Petersburg, Russia, elmvasilyeva@hotmail.com, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4195-5658